The Earth-Kind Rose Garden demonstrates how roses can be combined with perennials and herbs to make a pleasing, sensory landscape. The current design, implemented in 2013, incorporates a circular raised bed, low curved walls with seating, bermed beds to increase drainage and plant towers for climbing roses.
Earth-Kind® is a special designation given to select rose cultivars by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service through the Earth-Kind landscaping program. It is based on the results of extensive research and field trials and is awarded only to those roses demonstrating superior pest tolerance combined with outstanding landscape performance.
Earth-Kind roses do well in a variety of soil types ranging from well-drained acid sands to poorly aerated, highly alkaline clays. Once established, these select cultivars also have excellent heat and drought tolerance. The use of Earth-Kind roses provides the opportunity to enjoy these wonderful flowering plants while limiting the use of fertilizers, pesticides and water. These sustainable practices are excellent examples of how Earth-Kind landscaping is working to preserve and protect our natural resources and the environment.
For more information on cultivars (with photos), growing tips and more, visit the Earth-Kind Roses web site on Aggie Horticulture.
National Earth-Kind Rose Field Trial
From October 2005 through February 2010, the Earth-Kind Rose Garden at the DIG was part of the National Earth-Kind Rose Field Trial. Eight rose cultivars were planted and evaluated in this garden to help identify varieties worthy of the Earth-Kind designation. Three of each cultivar were planted approximately eight feet apart in raised beds filled with a mixture of native soil and compost tilled to a depth of 12 inches and covered with a three inch layer of hardwood mulch. A drip irrigation system was installed consisting of two, two gallon per hour emitters per plant. This supplemental watering was only turned on during periods without rain and was turned off in January 2007, after which natural rainfall provided the only means of moisture. No fertilizer or pesticides were used, nor were any plants pruned during the five year trial period.
Cultivars in the DIG’s Earth-Kind Rose Field Trial included:
- Carefree Wonder
- Country Dancer
- Flora Dora
- Madame Antoine Marie
- Monsieur Tillier
- Pearlie Mae
- Prairie Breeze
Of these, only the Madame Antoine Marie made it to the Earth-Kind designated Rose cultivar list. Future plans for the DIG include updating and expanding the current Earth-Kind Rose Garden to include many of the other officially designated Earth-Kind roses.